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  #1  
Old Aug 18, '10, 12:18 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

I'm going to write a post about this article on this very site: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2008/0803fea1.asp I was directed to this article by LukeK, and I'd like to spend a little time explaining how it actually supports -- rather than refutes -- the argument that the Gospels are myths.

First, a caveat: a prerequisite to participating in this thread is that you do not advance what I call "The Matrix argument," which I have thoroughly debunked here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=485473

If you intend to respond to this thread with something like, "Bah, evidence! You don't even have evidence that there's a world outside of your mind!" then I encourage you to read my other thread and respond there. Those of you who are sane -- and not first-year college students in love with the premise to a so-so Keanu Reeves movie -- are invited to read on.

The overview: My claim is that there is insufficient evidence to accept that the magical parts of the Jesus stories are true.

It is possible (actually, quite probable) that there was a person upon whom the Jesus stories were based, a person who was a charismatic moral teacher and who was executed for being a political rabble-rouser. Thus, I am saying that there is a good chance that Jesus "existed" in the same sense that King Arthur "existed" -- that is, there probably was an historical individual who served as the basis of fantastic stories of magic. The historical figure probably existed, but there is insufficient evidence to say that any of the magical elements of the story ever happened.

But, but, I hear you all saying out there...don't we have the Gospels??

The Gospels, you see, are documents written by anonymous non-eyewitnesses decades (at the earliest) after the supposed events occurred. There's not a single contemporary eyewitness account of Jesus, nor a single piece of evidence that confirms any of the magical parts of the story.

On top of this, there is the additional fact that we know that eyewitness testimony is insufficient to establish claims of the supernatural: all of us reject certain supernatural claims supported only by eyewitness testimony. There are, for example, countless cases of people -- people who are alive today -- who claim to have been abducted by aliens or who claim to have experienced psychic phenomena. In many cases, there are mutliple people who claim to have experienced one particular abduction or psychic phenomenon.

The eyewitness testimony of these people is insufficient to accept these claims -- so, obviously, anonymous non-eyewitness testimony written decades after a supposed supernatural event is insufficient to accept that the supernatural event took place.

Let's see what the article on your website has to say about all of this. The argument really begins about halfway into the article: the article states that since the text of one of the Gospels claims that the author is reporting historical fact, "[The Gospel's] historical content should be judged not against tales of unicorns and Easter bunnies, but against other first-century works of history and historical narrative."

And this is fair enough -- but before moving on, let's note that the article consistently uses the term "the author" when describing whoever wrote the Gospel in question. While the article never explicitly admits that the Gospels are anonymous, its tendency to refer to the author of a particular Gospel as "the author" combined with its open admission that scholars date the Gospels from various times within the first century (and decades, at the earliest, after the supposed events) confirms that the author of this article, Carl Olson, knows and implicitly agrees with the scholarly consensus that we don't know who wrote the Gospels.

Ancient Histories and Magic

The article says:
Quote:
Those supernatural elements—especially the miracles of Jesus and his claims to divinity—are, as we’ve noted, why skeptics call the Gospels "myth" while remaining unruffled about anything written about Julius Caesar and the Rubicon by Velleius Paterculus, Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian.
The article then goes on to make the astonishing following claim:
Quote:
Yes, Suetonius did write in his account (Lives of the Twelve Caesars) about "an apparition of superhuman size and beauty . . . sitting on the river bank, playing a reed pipe" who persuaded Caesar to cross the river, but it has not seemed to undermine the belief that Caesar did indeed cross the Rubicon on January 11, 49 B.C.
In the first place, no one questions that Caesar crossed the Rubicon because of the strength of the evidence we have for it, including documents written personally by the people involved (Caesar among them!) and the subsequent history of Rome, which reflects the outcome of the event.

But in the second place -- and this is the truly baffling part -- Olson *admits* that ancient histories sometimes contain magical elements (such as an apparition appearing to Caesar)...and he *admits* (implicitly) that no one takes the magical parts seriously...yet he still appears to be saying that we should accept the magical parts of the Jesus stories.

Yes, the fact of the matter is that ancient histories describe magical and supernatural happenings that we, today, do not accept. Read histories of other Roman emperors, Roman generals, and other charismatic leaders...you might be surprised at how much magic is ascribed to them.

These ancient cultures were steeped in superstition, and it's not at all surprising that accounts of a great, charismatic teacher would have supernatural elements attributed to them. The article is proving my point for me here.
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  #2  
Old Aug 18, '10, 12:18 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

When They Were Written

Quote:
"Liberal New Testament scholars today," writes Blomberg, "tend to put Mark a few years one side or the other of A.D. 70, Matthew and Luke–Acts sometime in the 80s, and John in the 90s" (Making Sense of the New Testament, 25). Meanwhile, many conservative scholars date the synoptic Gospels (and Acts) in the 60s and John in the 90s. That means, simply, that there exist four accounts of key events in Jesus’ life written within 30 to 60 years after his Crucifixion
So the article admits that these texts come, at the earliest, decades after the events supposedly happened. It continues:
Quote:
and this within a culture that placed a strong emphasis on the role and place of an accurate oral tradition. Anyone who denies that Jesus existed or who claims that the Gospels are filled with historical errors or fabrications will, in good conscience, have to explain why they don’t make the same assessment about the historical works of Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Julius Caesar, Livy, Josephus, Tacitus, and other classical authors.
As I've just noted, we do *not* accept the magical parts of other histories, simply because the magical elements are surrounded by stuff that probably *did* happen. In fact, Olson said just the same thing a little earlier in the article.

Again, to clarify: I'm not arguing that Jesus didn't exist -- I'm arguing that there's insufficient evidence to accept the magical parts of the stories.

Corroborating Evidence?

The article lists a number of pieces of archeological evidence that have been discovered which seem to correspond with parts of the story.

However, this is akin to saying that "New York City exists, and this corroborates the Spider Man movies." The fact that a story is set in a real place or involves real people doesn't tell us whether the content of the story is true -- and it certainly does not confirm the supernatural, magical parts of the story.

Incidentally, there is in the article no mention of my favorite miracle in all of the Gospels -- Matthew 27: 50-53:
Quote:
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
Now, this event, if it actually happened, is the kind of thing that we would expect to see reported by other contemporary sources. And yet, curiously, there is absolutely no record of any contemporary person reporting anything of the sort.

It's interesting to note that a number of Christians I've spoken to have admitted that this passage didn't *literally* happen...which raises an interesting question. If some of the miracles in the New Testament didn't literally happen, where do you draw the line? Isn't it likely that...none of the miracles happened?

There is, additionally, a short section in this article on "External Evidence," which is nothing but citations from two or three writers -- after the first century -- making passing references to early Christians and to Christ. No one denies that early Christians existed and that they considered Christ to be the founder of the religion, so these quotes shed no light on whether or not the magical elements of the Jesus stories actually happened.

To conclude, I'm not saying that Jesus never existed. I'm saying that there's no good reason to accept the magical parts of the story, especially when we do *not* accept the magical parts of other ancient histories.
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  #3  
Old Aug 18, '10, 12:57 pm
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Alexander Smith Alexander Smith is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Discussions like this are much more friendly when you don't put things like "and other obvious observations" into the title. If you've already made up your mind, why would you even bother to post a thread?

I guess I would take your argument more seriously if you were trying to disprove the existence of God, but you can't really take on the miracles that happened during Christs life, because they aren't a foundation of faith, and thus do not need to be proven in any way. The worst you can do is say the evidence that they occurred is shaky.

You say that if the veil of the temple had truly been torn in two, and the rocks had really been split, contemporary news sources would have reported it, but you don't say what those news sources might have been. Do you assume there was a reporting system of some kind, or do you know of specific ways it might have been reported? Would torn veils and split rocks really cause much of a splash?

I don't really have much to say though, you haven't really said anything too convincing. Why do we look at the Gospels and historical accounts in different ways? Mostly because we believe the Gospels were inspired by God, and were not allowed to be written from poor memory or forgetfulness.


One last thing, your quote from Thomas Jefferson is kind of funny, and doesn't really say much for atheism in general.

"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul."

I guess Mr. Jefferson must not have believed in cold, darkness, thought, guilt, conscience, or anything else that exists, but isn't quantifiable. After all, you can't measure guilt, and you can't add cold to a room, because cold is the absence of heat, just as much as evil is the absence of good.
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  #4  
Old Aug 18, '10, 1:23 pm
Garyjohn2 Garyjohn2 is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

I don't think the stories were old enough before they were written down to be considered myth. Taking the king aurthur myth for example...it was passed down by word of mouth for many generations before it was put into writing. The Gospels were written only decades after the event. There would have been people around to say, "Hey! That didn't actually happen!"

Also, take George Washington for example. There were books written about him soon after his death, and there are biographies that can be written about him right now. We know what events of his life are fact, and which are made up (like the cherry tree) even though we are like 200 years after the fact. Now, if someone in the year 3776, being alive 2000 years after George Washington, wanted to learn about the man's life, it would be kind of silly to discount the biographies written about him from 1800-2010.

The first few hundred years, when the facts are freshest, would be the best source to go to when determining which events are true and which are false. The people of the time would know the difference. That's the way I always looked at it anyways.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 1:33 pm
Garyjohn2 Garyjohn2 is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

We also have to account for the martyrs, who were eye-witnesses to Christ's "magic" and died very horrible painful deaths because they proclaimed it. If they would have said "We made it all up!" they would have been saved. But they didn't.

Unless we discount those as myths too, though they contain no magic. Then we have to question which histories are accurate at all.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

The Gospels are Historical
Part 1
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Old Aug 18, '10, 2:08 pm
Luke K Luke K is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

So your issue is just the miraculous aspect of Jesus' ministry. You agree that there is sufficient evidence that a man named Jesus lived in Palestine at about 30 A.D. and was put to death by crucifixion. Also, indisputably, he gained followers during his life and after his death who proclaimed that he rose from the dead. Before going into anything else, take notice that a man's resurrection is a very falsifiable claim. Just produce the dead body. No one did. Keep in mind that this limits your options in explaining the origin of Christianity.

As St. Paul said, "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Kephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of who are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that, he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me." (1 Cor 15:3-8) Perhaps we have a conspiracy afoot here. You need to provide a motive for it.

Another thought:
"In sum, the statement that Jesus acted as and was viewed as an exorcist and healer during his public ministry has as much historical corroboration as almost any other statement we can make about the Jesus of history. Indeed, as a global affirmation about Jesus and his ministry it has much better attestation than many other assertions made about Jesus, assertions that people often take for granted. Looming large in the Gospels and no doubt in his actual ministry, Jesus' miracle-working activity played an integral part in his being able to attract attention, both positive and negative. His miracle-working activity not only supported but also dramatized and actuated his eschatological message, and it may have contributed to some degree to the alarm felt by the authorities who finally brought about his death. Any historian who seeks to portray the historical Jesus without giving due weight to his fame as a miracle-worker is not delineating this strange and complex Jew, but rather a domesticated Jesus reminiscent of the bland moralist created by Thomas Jefferson."

And another:
"The literary residue of the earliest Christians indicates that Jesus was remembered as a worker of 'sane' miracles--not metamorphoses, not fortune-telling, not cursing someone's business, but of healing, exorcism, provision. He was not remembered vaguely as some kind of wonder-worker, but very specific powerful deeds of goodness were remembered--and remembered at eyewitness levels of detail and vividness. The historian can rest confident that the "historically sifted", internal data of the New Testament literature manifest textual and literary characteristics that are best (and perhaps 'only') explained by an underlying ministry of Jesus in substantial agreement with that presented at the surface of the canonical gospels."

Of course you'll disagree about what 'sane' miracles means. But I think the point is that Jesus' miracles all had a purpose in his larger message, and they were used for other peoples' good.
Quote:
Yes, the fact of the matter is that ancient histories describe magical and supernatural happenings that we, today, do not accept. Read histories of other Roman emperors, Roman generals, and other charismatic leaders...you might be surprised at how much magic is ascribed to them.
Could you provide an example of one of those here, with the source material text? I've read an account of the Roman emperor Vespasian healing a man's blindness and diseased hand, and it is laughable in comparison to the historical evidence for the Resurrection, and lesser in comparison to other miracles of Jesus.

This thread should be in Sacred Scriptures or Apologetics, by the way. Not the Philosophy forum. I doubt the people who could best defend this hang out here.

Last edited by Luke K; Aug 18, '10 at 2:26 pm.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:21 pm
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiTheist View Post
These ancient cultures were steeped in superstition, and it's not at all surprising that accounts of a great, charismatic teacher would have supernatural elements attributed to them. The article is proving my point for me here.
A false deduction! The existence of superstition does not disprove the existence of the supernatural. It is also necessary to explain:

1. Why Jesus is considered to be a great, charismatic teacher.
2. How His identity, mission and healing power can be dissociated from His moral teaching.
3. The source of His wisdom and charisma.
4. The international and enduring success of His small community.
5. The scientifically inexplicable cures experienced in answer to prayer.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:27 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Alexander Smith:
Quote:
you can't really take on the miracles that happened during Christs life, because they aren't a foundation of faith, and thus do not need to be proven in any way. The worst you can do is say the evidence that they occurred is shaky.
I consider that Christ did magic -- including rising from the dead -- to be foundational to Christianity. If your brand of Christianity doesn't consider miracles to be foundational, then I'm not talking to you. And I'm not saying that the evidence is "shaky" -- I'm saying that sufficient evidence for it does not exist.

There are a couple of stories written down by anonymous non-eyewitnesses decades later.

Quote:
You say that if the veil of the temple had truly been torn in two, and the rocks had really been split, contemporary news sources would have reported it, but you don't say what those news sources might have been. Do you assume there was a reporting system of some kind, or do you know of specific ways it might have been reported? Would torn veils and split rocks really cause much of a splash?
My example was the swarm of zombies sweeping through a city in Matthew 27:50-53. And no, I wasn't expecting news reports...I was expecting there to be *some* record of *someone* writing down that a hoarde of zombies swept through the city. I know that literacy rates were low then, but every city had literate people, and a swarm of zombies seems like the kind of thing that someone would write down. Call me crazy, but that's what I'd expect.

Odd, isn't it, that absolutely no one else bothered to write that down or ever mention it again? Is it really only the anonymous author of Matthew who bothered to write down such a monumental event in human history, decades and decades later?

Quote:
Why do we look at the Gospels and historical accounts in different ways? Mostly because we believe the Gospels were inspired by God, and were not allowed to be written from poor memory or forgetfulness.
And for what reason do you believe that the Gospels were inspired by a god?

Quote:
I guess Mr. Jefferson must not have believed in cold, darkness, thought, guilt, conscience, or anything else that exists, but isn't quantifiable. After all, you can't measure guilt, and you can't add cold to a room, because cold is the absence of heat, just as much as evil is the absence of good.
Jefferson's quote is about entities, not about abstract concepts. I agree that the conscience, for example, is something that only exists in people's heads. There's no ghostly conscience floating around in some other dimension. Similarly, your god and your angels appear to be concepts in people's heads, not beings floating around in some other dimension.

GaryJohn2:
Quote:
The Gospels were written only decades after the event. There would have been people around to say, "Hey! That didn't actually happen!"
Not necessarily at all. We're talking about two thousand years ago, stories about miracles taking place in the middle of nowhere decades prior.

Quote:
We know what events of [George Washington's] life are fact, and which are made up (like the cherry tree) even though we are like 200 years after the fact.
Yes, we do. We can make good judgments about the events that likely happened and the events that likely didn't happen to an individual. That's, in fact, my entire point here.

Quote:
We also have to account for the martyrs, who were eye-witnesses to Christ's "magic" and died very horrible painful deaths because they proclaimed it. If they would have said "We made it all up!" they would have been saved. But they didn't.
Well, I should probably open up a new thread on this, but basically, you're talking about a very small group of people here. A candidate for this kind of eyewitness testimony would have to be:

1) Someone who claimed to be an eyewitness to Christ's magic
2) Someone who was told that if he did not recant his belief in Christ's magic, he would be put to death.
3) Someone who willingly chose not to recant his belief.
4) And someone who was subsequently put to death.

Obviously, someone who knew he was going to be put to death as a political subversive -- regardless of what he said after he was captured -- can't count.

I am not familiar enough with the evidence for how many historical people fit that bill, but my suspicion is that there is little evidence beyond church tradition for many of these claims. To be frank, even if you had good evidence that there are a number of people like this -- and I doubt there are many -- I'd still ascribe their willingness to die to mistaken fanaticism.

buffalo:
Quote:
The Gospels are Historical
Thanks for playing, buffalo, but I've hit my quota for the number of random websites I'm going to read today. If you'd like to actually talk about the points you find compelling, feel free to bring them up.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:30 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Luke K:
Quote:
So your issue is just the miraculous aspect of Jesus' ministry. You agree that there is sufficient evidence that a man named Jesus lived in Palestine at about 30 A.D. and was put to death by crucifixion. Also, indisputably, he gained followers during his life and after his death who proclaimed that he rose from the dead.
Well, I don't know how much of the story is "indisputable," but I'd be okay with accepting that there probably was a rabbi -- or perhaps several rabbis -- who was a popular teacher and who was executed as a political subversive and whose life served as the basis of popular myths of magic in the same way that King Arthur's life did. I'm not sure exactly what's "indisputable" beyond those likely things.

Quote:
Before going into anything else, take notice that a man's resurrection is a very falsifiable claim. Just produce the dead body. No one did. Keep in mind that this limits your options in explaining the origin of Christianity.
I don't know what you're driving at here. These are stories about events that supposedly happened decades prior. I don't find it slightly surprising that a dead body would get stolen/destroyed or misplaced and never found again.

Quote:
But I think the point is that Jesus' miracles all had a purpose in his larger message, and they were used for other peoples' good.
This doesn't demonstrate that the miracles actually happened in real life, though.

Quote:
Could you provide an example of one of those here, with the source material text?
The article on this site references Suetonius' claim that a giant apparition persuaded Caesar to cross the Rubicon. We can start there. Do you believe that Caesar crossed the Rubicon? Do you believe that a giant ghost talked him into it? Which do you think is more likely to have happened? On what basis do you make that judgment?
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:34 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
The existence of superstition does not disprove the existence of the supernatural.
I didn't say that it disproved the existence of the supernatural. I said that it adequately accounts for the attribution of fantasy stories about magic to charismatic teachers.

In other words, we know that great men back in those days had stories told about them that involved magic -- that stories of magic would spring up around a popular moral teacher, then, is not at all surprising.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:42 pm
nohornets33 nohornets33 is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiTheist View Post
There are a couple of stories written down by anonymous non-eyewitnesses decades later.
Matthew and John were both apostles of Jesus. John, in fact, was present for many of Jesus' miracles, and he was at the foot of the cross when Jesus died. Mark was a close disciple of Jesus who was present at many of his sermons and miracles. Not only was Luke a disciple of Jesus, he was proven to have had a close relationship with Mary, and obtained details about Mary's Annunciation, the birth of John the Baptist, and some info about Jesus' childhood through her. How are these "anonymous non-eyewitnesses"?
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:45 pm
Charlemagne II Charlemagne II is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

AntiTheist

"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul."
--Thomas Jefferson


I suppose if we are going to have to listen to your version of Jefferson, you as an atheist should also be required to listen to Jefferson.

(Excerpts, letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, April 11, 1823)

“I can never join Calvin in addressing his God. He was indeed an atheist, which I could never be; or rather his religion was daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5 points is not the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin…. (Here Jefferson goes on to talk about the French atheists.) The argument which they rest on as triumphant and unanswerable is that, in every hypothesis of cosmogony, you must admit an eternal pre-existence of something; and according to the rule of sound philosophy, you are never to employ two principles to solve a difficulty when one will suffice. They say, then, that it is more simple to believe at once in the eternal pre-existence of the world, as it is now going on, and may forever go on by the principle of reproduction which we see and witness, than to believe in the eternal pre-existence of an ulterior cause, or creator of the world, a being whom we see not, and know not, of whose form substance and mode or place of existence, or of action no sense informs us, no power of the mind enables us to delineate or comprehend. On the contrary, I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and infinite power in every atom of its composition. The movements of

the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters, and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, the generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms. We see too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the Universe in its course and order. Stars, well known, have disappeared, new ones have come into view, comets, in their incalculable courses, may run foul of suns and planets and require renovation under other laws; certain races of animals are become extinct; and, were there no restoring power, all existences might extinguish successively, one by one, until all should be reduced to a shapeless chaos. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite members of man who have existed through all time, they have believed in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of the few in the other hypothesis.”
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Old Aug 18, '10, 5:51 pm
Charlemagne II Charlemagne II is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

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It is generally believed by Catholics and Protestants that Mark wrote the first of the gospels. Mark was a close disciple of Peter and probably served as a secretary or teacher under Peter's supervision. Since all of the gospels put Peter as the leader of the apostles, it is fair to say that Mark is rendering Peter's version of the events as he lived them and recalled them to Mark. The later gospels repeat the basic information from Mark with some minor variations, which strongly suggests that Peter was authentic in his retelling of the stories that had been handed down about Christ's ministry.

Paul based his entire ministry on the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus. And Paul died before the Gospels were written. So now you will have to attack's Paul's veracity as well. True, Paul would have learned of the Resurrection from others, rather than a first hand account; but your notion that the miracles did not even begin to surface until decades after Christ seems a bit flimsy based on Paul's testimony, which he received no doubt from Peter, John, and others who were witnesses.
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Old Aug 18, '10, 6:05 pm
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James924 James924 is offline
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Default Re: The Gospels are Myths (and other obvious observations)

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To be frank, even if you had good evidence that there are a number of people like this -- and I doubt there are many
This is where I stopped taking you seriously. No person who has even dabbled in the history of this era would say something as silly as this. You may as well throw out Caesar's Conquest of Gaul seeing as there is more evidence and corroboration for the death of people who fit your four points than there is for the accounts in his book.
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